Chania in autumn

1 October, 2018

Who says Crete is just a summer holiday destination? Chania has a lot to offer in autumn too! If you want to experience the authentic atmosphere of Crete and live like the locals, autumn is the right time for you. There are many things to do and a lot of activities and festivals to participate in…

The production of tsikoudia – the “rakokazano” (copper cauldron for distilling raki), the harvesting and treading of the grapes, the harvesting of the olives and the chestnuts, are all an opportunity for a celebration in the eyes of the Cretan people.

Rakokazano – the distillation of raki

Raki -or tsikoudia- is the traditional distillated alcoholic drink of Crete. It is produced from the leftovers of the grapes (sometimes including the stems and seeds) that were pressed for the wine making process. Raki in Crete, among others, is a token of friendship, and a tool of social communication; it’s our loyal companion to happiness, sadness, meetings with friends, dances, festivals. Every year, around the end of October until mid-December, the locals gather together for the “rakokazano” to enjoy local food, drink and dance, celebrating the creation of the new and fresh raki.

Olive harvesting

Life on Crete is intricately connected to the olives; their sale, planting, irrigation, pruning, care, fertilising, preparation and harvesting. Each phase of the year can be recognised by the activities around the villages and the olive-covered hills. From the end of October until the end of January, people all over the island are harvesting their olives to produce olive oil. The olive harvest is a labour-intensive job and that is why as many people as possible are asked to help, but it is also a very pleasant time in winter.

Chestnut festival

If you happen to travel to Crete in late October or early November, make sure you visit Elos and Prassé villages near Chania. The Chestnut Festival is one of the island’s remarkable events during fall. Travelers can expect music, dancing, eating and drinking as essential parts of the celebration. And of course, roasted or boiled chestnuts and chestnut spoon sweet.